Gov. Polis: $50 million of new federal funds will save Coloradans even more money on health care through the bipartisan Colorado Reinsurance Program
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), announced that it is providing additional funding to 13 states, including Colorado, in support of the Affordable Care Act Section 1332 reinsurance waivers. This additional funding of nearly $50 million for Colorado’s Reinsurance Program is a result of expanded subsidies for people buying health insurance from the individual market (meaning not from an employer) provided under the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
“Fifty million dollars of new federal funds will save Coloradans even more money on health care through the bipartisan Colorado Reinsurance Program,” said Governor Polis. “By slashing health care premiums, Coloradans will have more money in their pockets for groceries or gas while also ensuring quality, affordable health care is available to every Coloradan. This $50 million in additional funds for Colorado’s Reinsurance Program will be used to further reduce insurance premiums.”
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), administers the Reinsurance Program, which lowers premiums and makes coverage more affordable by reducing the financial impact of high-cost health insurance claims.
“The work of the Polis-Primavera administration and the work of the Division of Insurance continue to help Coloradans by making health insurance more affordable. This additional funding will not only help to decrease premiums and get more people covered, but it also helps to strengthen the reinsurance program,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “A successful reinsurance program has been key in stabilizing our health insurance market, allowing us to retain insurance companies, bring in new companies, and have others expand their offerings in the state.”
The additional funds announced by CMS today range from $2.5 million to $139 million per state – varying based on factors such as the size of a state’s reinsurance program. The exact amount Colorado will receive in additional pass-through funding will be $49,827,328. Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), allows states to propose innovative ways to provide their residents high-quality, affordable health insurance that includes the basic protections of the ACA. The 1332 waiver gives Colorado the ability to fund a substantial amount of the Reinsurance Program with federal funds—dollars that would not have otherwise come to the State. The additional pass-through dollars adds to that funding.
In the first year of reinsurance, 2020, the program saved people 20% on their health insurance, meaning premiums would have been 20% higher without the program. In 2021, it saved Coloradans nearly 21%. Based on preliminary reviews of information for 2022, the program is projected to save Coloradans 24% on their individual insurance.
Recently, CMS approved Colorado’s 1332 State Innovation Waiver to continue the Reinsurance Program for 2022 – 2026. It was the first 1332 waiver approved under the Biden-Harris Administration and the first approved by the new head of CMS, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Find more information about the Colorado Reinsurance Program at the DOI’s Reinsurance website.
About the Division of Insurance:
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit doi.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675.